tv Piers Morgan Live CNN February 14, 2014 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
and live in an intern dating house. >> for kyle and brook, it's a trend with a storybook end. tom more man, cnn. >> happy valentine's day to all. essentially my wife. that does it for this edition of "360." piers morgan live is next. >> 16 days and counting. excitement is building in hollywood tonight. at this moment, oscar voters are casting their final ballots. i'm talking with three listers. first up, you tube's bono. ♪ >> he's nominated for the song "ordinary love" from "mandela: long walk to freedom." >> it's an honor to be nominated at the start of the show, larry puts his hand on me and goes it's about winning though, isn't it. >> also matthew mcconaughey tells us what his father would
think of his best actor nomination. >> he would love it. he would be hamming it up. he would love it. absolutely. >> why is pharrel williams so happy? he's oscar nominated for the song from "despicable me 2." >> it was nine songs trying -- it took nine songs trying to get that one scene right and they were all wrong. >> behind every music superstar is the backup sing per.wait till you hear it the voices behind the rolling stones, bruce springsteen and more. the story of the oscar nominated 20 feet from stardom. the biggest rock star around, bono. i sat down with him for the oscar nominees luncheon this week. he told me how he feels with his oscar nomination for the song "ordinary love." from the film mandela long walk to freedom." >> here are you in hollywood.
did you ever think you'd be sitting here by the beverly hilton doing an interview about your oscar nomination? >> yes, megalo mania started at a very early age. i feel like i'm on holiday. the weather's good. this town has been really, really good to us for -- since the moment we came here, played the country club. robert hill burn put us on the cover of the entertainment section of the "los angeles times." and that was like 1980 or something. and it's just gotten better and better. people are cynical about los angeles. i love it. more people live here off their imaginations than anywhere else in the world if you think about it. >> to be oscar nominated, what does that mean to you as an artist? >> oh, you know, it's an honor. he's a thrill. all of the above. i remember sitting with the band the last time we were nominated for gangs of new york, martin scorsese film. sitting there, saying it's just annern who to be nominated. at the start of the shot, larry
puts his hand on me and goes, it's about winning though, isn't it? we lost to eminem who wasn't there. in fact, he was asleep. he wasn't even watching it. his was a great song. py have to say "lose yourself." >> are you going to retend like everybody else that you haven't written a wichber's speech yet. >> no, i will. for the golden globes we were writing it at the table and it was a little fraught. i absolutely will on the off the chance it happens. i will, absolutely. >> who in your life are you most thankful for in those moments when you get to stand on a podium at the ots cars, wherever it may be, who when you already think about it are you personally most thankful to? >> in this instance, it will be one person. nelson mandela, i've been working for him since i was a teenager. so the merps of u 2. he's taught us some personal lessons. we worked with him on all the aids stuff.
and make poverty history. his grace and his humor and with his passing, we had this song we couldn't promote. so actually on the oscar, the only time we'll have played this song together since recording it will be, i think we have an aaccuse tick thing coming up on jimmy fallon. the full band performance i think is going to be on the oscars. he will be in our minds. >> was he greatest figure of your lifetime? >> well, you know, he and his mate, his neighbor, the arch as we call him. >> desmond tutu. >> if you don't do what the arch asks you, he says you're not going to go to heaven. but the two of them, if you think about the conflicts that are going on in the world and you realize the greatest sort of resource, honor, the most precious thing we have and rarest is leadership. and that's what we're missing. you look in the arab spring and you look in syria now and you're you're seeing oh, my god, who's
going to lead these people out of this mess and where will that grace come from. and that's really -- for the song, that's what we wanted to write this love song because we thought everyone. knows about mandela the statesman but this other side, this morrow man tick side we thought. it's the only place he lost in his life was in his marriage. he won everything else. >> what would your mother have made of you at the oscars? >> she only heard me sing once on a stage. and just before she passed away. wow, i don't know. i think she would laugh. she laughed a lot the first time. i would hope she would laugh a lot this time. we're playing which is nice. we're going to play at the show. yeah, i guess, look, you talk about people who get you to where you've got. it's always the obstacles or it's always the things that you know, that define you, you know. that's where you get your defiance from what you're
missing. defiance is the essence of romance, isn't it, piers? >> it certainly is. quite a power to let you relive one moment in your life, outside of marriage and children, which one would you choose? >> oh, gosh. somebody said if you had a perfect memory, marvin minsky, the great inventor of artificial intelligence said if you're the perfect memory, you would have sex once. so all those -- i'm always thinking about what we and our band are always thinking about what's next. there have been many extraordinary nights when you feel that you're being carried, you know. >> what's the one if i said i can -- you can have that again tonight? >> playing on stage that time in front of my school friends and indeed my mother in the audience if you asked.
is that enough? >> i think that's a very good answer, yeah. finally, did you ever find what you were looking for? >>dy find what i was looking for? >> i asked people today on twitter and quite a few said just ask hip, did he ever find what he was looking for? >> i think i've learned that lesson that you know, it's the, you know, the race is the destination and the stumbling around and all the things that you think that you'd like to be better at and the things you like to improve in your life, they're actually the fun things, the things that people enjoy about you and i would like to have been perhaps more at peace with myself. at an earlier age. but i wouldn't call it at peace now with myself. peace but not being at peace if that makes sense. it's only in california i start talking like this.
i'm at peace. i love being at peace with myself. >> you seem a man at peace to me. best of luck at the oscars. >> i am this afternoon. great to see you over here. >> when we come back, the musical genius behind some of the biggest hits around. pharrel williams is the man who put blurred lines on everybody's play list. now he's adding oscar nominee to his resume and i'll stalk to him next. and later, the voices you know from the biggest hits. the backup singers take center stage. ♪ ♪ ♪ where you think you're gonna go ♪ ♪ when your time's all gone? [ male announcer ] live a full life. the new lexus ct hybrid with an epa estimated 42 mpg.
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♪ ♪ come along if you feel like a room without a view ♪ ♪ clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth ♪ >> happy from "despicable me 2." making pharrel williams very happy today. there was one question i had to ask fa rel. what's with the hat? >> fa rel, i can't talk to you without starting with the hat. it's a new hat. it's a new shade. is it vivian westwood again. >> yeah, it's a different color. >> tell me about the power of these hats. >> you know what, in the funny thing is i can't take credit for it because it was vivian westwood that you totally knew.
if you knew exactly what it was. this was her ode to malcolm mcclaren in the '80s and when hip-hop was just sort of you know, showing its face to the world and the way that it was sort of penetrating all of the demographics. she was there very early on with malcolm mclaren and the buffalo gals. that song was like huge in all the neighborhoods across america and respectively around the world, and i just remember that moment. but i got this hat like five years ago. a friend of mine, ronnie new house was giving a little education on vivian and all the stuff she had done. i saw the hat and i was like i'm going to get that one. i got the straw one. >> are you worried the hat's now taking over your hat. >> everywhere you go, meex must go, pharrel williams, i love your hat. >> i always say it's not me. i can't take credit. it's vivian westwood. she did it 30 years ago. >> let's talk oscars. i interviewed bono right here a
few minutes ago. can you do that? >> i don't know -- i don't think could take down bono. it's bono. what he's done incredibly over all the years, him and his band, but we're going to work really hard because chris miller and animation house like we had no help. we just had to really do it ourselves and believe that being different was okay. and taking a different route can lead you to the destination where you're trying to get to, and you know what? it's not failed us thus far. and regardless to what happens, i'm fortunate to be just a decimal in the equation of everything that "despicable me" has become. >> what does it mean to be at the oscars and at what many people believe to be the greatest of all the entertainment events, nominated, you pharrel williams? >> listen, i think this is the highest and yet the deepest
point of humility that i've ever experienced in my life because the song's here. on then side of the song is where i've created the song and some people say that's a big deal. let me explain something to you. it was nine songs trying -- it took nine songs trying to get that one scene right and they were all wrong. i had chris miller done dray and the founder of illumination and mike new block, the supervisor of the music at universal, those guys were relentless about what was right and what was wrong. so i can't take credit for that because had i you know, had it been up to me, maybe the fifth song. i'm telling you this is the song. but each time, i would reserve my ego, sit back and listen because that is the only way you can learn and get pushed. that's on this side of the song. on the other side of the song is the voting, is the requesting, the downloading, the sharing, and people just talking about
the song. au of that activity when you look at like when people say big huge and successful, you look at all the views on youtube, over 50 million, none of those views are mine. that's not me. so i'm sorry, but what i want to make clear is on the other side of the song is none of my doing and me being pushed to this point was none of nye doing. for real, i'm the luckiest guy in the room. >> that moment if you win and you go to the oscars podium, who will you feel most thankful to in your life for helping you bring you to that moment? >>. >> that's the thing. that's like asking. >> not just on this song. for you pharrel williams to be a potential oscar winner in that moment if you won, when you look back at your entire life, who will you feel most thankful to? >> definitely the omnif sent. whether you believe in god or you believe in the existence of -- in the form of
mathematics, right. >> there's numbers everywhere. >> who down here? >> there is a long list of people who got me to where i am right now. >> when you're standing there potentially as an oscar winner, who would come into your head. >> so many faces. >> any family? >> my mom and my dad for sure. you know, my brothers, my wife, my son. you know, my first band teacher that recognized some sort of atom of propensity towards music. my middle school teacher, my high school teacher who led us to win all thetrophynys in the drum line that we've won. teddy riley who discovered me, tommy lucas who has taught me how to write a song, chad hugo, my partner who is a super genius guy that taught me about music and the ways that he has. >> if i had the power to say -- last question, if i had the power to say to you i can help you relive one moment in your life again, it can't have to do
with women or children, which moment would be the greatest moment of your life so far? >> i couldn't because all of these things are every second is a piece in the mosaic. >> for tonight, you can relive that. you can do it all over again. >> when i first met my wife. >> where was that? >> over my buddy alex's house down in coral gables. >> what was your first thought when you saw your wife to be? >> who and where did she come from. >> and how am i going to land her. >> oh, i knew it. i knew that. i was what? mine. no, no, no. actually not even mine just like, you know, we're sharing this time together. you know what i'm saying? you can't put ownership on anything, especially with the record that i'm making right now. there's a whole different -- i have a whole different view on like women and how good and gracious i am toward them for everything they have given me. i mean essentially like everything i have, my fans paid
for. so i just, i owe it to them and ode, my album is an ode to women. >> best of huck at the oscars. >> thank you. >> i'll be waiting to doff my hat for you. >> fa rel's movie jumped from number 9 to number two this week making it the highest charting best song nominee in more than a decade second only to eminem's "lose yourself" in 2001. coming up, the star of "dallas buyers club" on the role that might just win him best actor. >> these have been really focused on sessed characters. a lot of them live on thfringesf society. they don't placate or pander to society. there's a freedom that i found in that. it says here that a woman's sex drive increases at the age of 80.
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can kill ron woodruff in 30 days. >> matthew mcconnen had i nominated for best actor "dallas buyers club" and "the wolf of wall street." i stat down with him at the nominees luncheon to talk about life in the oscars spotlight. >> last time i spoke with you, we had a great interview and ended with you baying the bongos. i don't think you even in that moment could he have imagined quite what has happened to your career in the last year. how do you feel about this extraordinary resurgence? >> it doesn't feel surreal. it feels very, very real. i never thought about. >> reporter: about this as a result. part of when i look backing about part of the reason why i know why i'm sitting here why i've got a nomination, i put my head down and thought, process, process, process, do the work and enjoying the experience so much that that was reward enough. now let's go to the next chapter. put it your head down and do the
work. love the process. the more process oriented i've become, the more results i seem to getting >> to be here now as the front runner to win an oscar for best actor, is that the culmination of everything you've ever worked for? do you believe in a way it may be the start of something very special? >> i think it's a wonderful moment in my career that is in the middle of its approach. i don't feel, it doesn't feel like a destination. it doesn't. i'm extremely honored, the gold standard in the industry i'm fortunate enough to work in. but it doesn't feel like it's a resolution, you know, no, i'm still on the approach. on the approach. i spoke to you the other day. you're on twitter. i tweeted i thought that pound for pound, i did this after watching "wolf of wall street"" and "dallas buyers club" and
true detective. i felt compelled to tell the world right now pound for pound you were the best actor in the world. >> thank you. >> i meant it. i think many people are saying this about you. the variety of what you've been doing, risks you've been taking, the commitment you've brought to these roles is something quite special. >> well, thank you. >> where have you found the strength to do that? because you were drifting along by your own admission for quite awhile doing relatively easier movies. >> well, they exercise different muscles. what you're talking about and the work that i've been doing that i think people are noticing, these characters -- i was able to find a very zing identity. >> they had clear obsessions. >> is that the key. yeah to own your man and own my guy and see hip from the inside out. a romantic comedy is not about a character's identity so much. no one cares what the guy's job is or what his past is.
they're not obsessed with certain things. they can't be. they'll sink the romantic comedy. so they float across the top. these have been singularly focused obsessed characters. a lot of them live on the fridges of society but they're i lands unto themselves. they make up their own rules, they don't placate or pander to society. there's a freedom that i found in that. >> if you win and you're standing there on the oscars podium for what will be pro philadelphialy the greatest moment you've had, you'll probablyny in that moment about everything in your life, everybody who's contributed to you getting to that moment. all the key people when you look back over the whole time that you would feel most thankful to? >> oh, well, i've got thanks -- i've got my own personal thanks to god. i've got my own personal thanks to family in many respects. family i've got now, family i came from, and i've got another
little secret thank you for somebody i know real well that i might share if i'm fortunate to. >> someone that affected your life? >> oh, yeah. >> what do you think you'll feel when you're standing there if you get that moment? >> look, i'm not there yet. >> how do you feel? >> i really haven't thought about what i will feel. i've not projected myself to that position. i don't know what i would say. i haven't written anything. i don't plan on writing anything. you know what the cue degra is, the finishing blow? i want a cue da grass. if i ever get back here, i'll still only have one first time and this is it. so i'm going to enjoy this head high and heart high. >> if i could replay for you one moment in your life, outside of marriage and kids. >> yeah. >> what would you choose? >> replay that just any moment? >> yes moment, the greatest moment. >> the greatest moment?
>> one you'd most like to live through again. >> oh, the most like to live through again. shoot, the most important ones were some of the once i don't want to relive through again at all. >> that in itself can be a great moment. >> oh, yeah. what happens to a man after they lose their father? incredible things happen to a man after they lose their father. >> what impact did that have on you. >> oh, courage. integrity. you know, anybody who loses a father, that's the main crutch in a man's life. and it's there for a reason. you know if it ever comes down to it, you've got your own father to lean up against. >> what would your father have made of you being oscar nominated. >> he would love it. he would be happening it up. he would love it. absolutely. and he is. >> he's watching you? >> he's making his gumbo and lemon meringue pie. >> can you quite believe where you've got to? >> yeah, i believe it.
>> i know you had a plan. i know it's been brilliantly executed. can you quite believe it? >> yeah. 100 percy believe it. like i said earlier, i no, no way feel like this is a surreal moment. i'm very engaged in what's happening. extremely appreciative, understand, you know, what the reasons are that someone would be dealing with the nomination and what's going on in my life. i understand where i'm responsible for that. i understand where a whole lot of other people are responsible for that. >> my wife has a question she wants me to ask you. how can i lose 43 pounds quickly? >> go to mexico and drink the water. >> matthew, best of luck. i really mean that. >> thank you. >> coming up, there may be supporting characters in real life but these backup singers are the stars of "20 feet from
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complicated. singing background remains remains a somewhat unheralded position, you know? so people make that leap. >> bruce springsteen talking about what you could call the unsung heros of pop, mariah carey, sheryl crowe, all of them began as backup singers. the film finally gives them their doo. tata vega has backed up michael jackson. later, i'll be joined by due jith hill who sunging with stevie wonder and elton john. welcome to all of you and happy valentine's day. >> same to you. >> so, this roll call of glor is extraordinary. you've sung with elvis presley, tom jones, rig go star, tore o
tori amos. >> at that time ta, you sung with ray charles, madonna, elton john, steve wei wonder. michael jackson. it's extraordinary. here you are suddenly in this movie about your trade, about the backup singers and you've been oscar nominated. mary, how does that feel? >> it feels so incredible like i was saying to the girls, can you please just pinch me and let me know this is not a dream and we're living this. we have been riding on this red carpet ever since the film was picked up at sundance by the weinstein company. it's been incredible. >> tata is bruce springsteen right, that 20 feet from the front of the stage, is it the longest walk imaginable in the sense that that's the treem, isn't it? but it's potentially the nightmare? >> yes. since you put it that way. it can be. but it can work for you, as well. it could be the greatest thing
that could happen that walk to can be achieved. but some prefer to not make that walk. they prefer to be the frame so to speak. >> do you two, do you prefer to be backup singer or has the dream always been, mary, to be center stage yourself? >> well, you know, when i was singing background i always felt like i was center stage. >> right. >> because i mean, you know, if i was helping you out in your music and helping you out in your arrangements and the studio and i walk in the studio, you say, well, i'm saying what are we going to do? when you walk in the studio what do they want you to do? then they turn to you and they say, what do you think about this? i said what do you think about that. my think about that is always better than their think about that. i've always felt like i was center stage. >> you began as a raylette supporting ray charles. this is a clip of you with ray. >> all right. i stand at the end of the stage with my hand under my chin and
said, uh-huh, i could do this. i'm going to be a raylette one day. i willed myself. >> here are the raylets to help us on this portion on. >> so i was sitting at home one day and i got a call from billy preston. this is bill. what are you doing? putting some clothes away. you got to drop it and you have to come and sing for ray. ♪ >> amazing footage. how do you feel when you ethat? >> i was just so young. and i was so cute and so young. >> you're still cute, mary, come on moo thank you, thank you. but it was amazing seeing that because it almost takes you back to that time. i saw my husband who was his conductor at that time. and curtis and i were married for 32 years until he went on to heaven. during that period, it was such a pivotal period of time because
i finally made it. i was a raylet. you couldn't ask for me than that to be the age that i was. and then my great friend billy preston had called me who had played with the beatles and he was regarded as the fifth beatle. for him to call me and say, you need to sing for ray. i was like ray who? what ray are are you talking about. we auditioned and it was on and upwards from them on. >> tata, this is what the great stevie wonder had to say about you. my musical hero talking about you. >> and i heard this girl doing all these rifts and i said, oh, my god. >> he came back. he said, you sound like me. >> is that the same person? >> love the way you imitate stevie. sound like him, you move like him. what an accolade. is that what you guys live for,
the kind of moment like that where you hear stevie wonder or ray charles or whoever it may be bestowing that kind of comment and that honor on you? >> well, it was so unexpected, of course. i'm sitting next to mary clayton who mentors me and helped me because she came from a place where she was in an elevated place for so much longer than i've been. so i'm learning a lot from mary. she helps me, and all the people. and we really would love to thank tremolo, morgan, gil free sen, radius and weinstein company. >> i thinked you should stop being so self-deprecating. you're here for a reason. people love the idea of you guys finally getting the treatment and gratitude you should get. >> it's wonderful. >> give me shelter, one of the great rolling stones songs ever
and look who pops up. let's watch this. >> i said you want to do another one? i said sure, i'll do another one. >> she just did it a couple times. >> so i said to myself, i'm going to do another. i'm going to blow them out of this room. i went in again and i did that pass on the part that says, ♪ just a shout away. so i had to go up another octave. ♪ it's just a how the away it's just a shout away ♪ ♪ yeah, it's just a how the away, it's just a shout away ♪ ♪ it's just a shout away, it's just a shout away yeah, yeah, yeah ♪ >> whoo. >> unbelievable. here's the thing. i love mick jagger and love the
rolling stones. he could never sing like that in a million years. >> you better tell it, piers. tell it. >> but do you feel, mary, you've had this wonderful career, an amazing ride and now you've got to the great thing with the oscar. you must feel slightly frustrated when you see so many singser who clearly have less good voices to you making it to be superstars in their own right. do you feel a little bit of why not me? >> well, as i said earlier, it was always me. >> i'm not going to feel sorry for you. >> it was always me. if i'm giving my heart as i said in the film and my soul to your project, i come in, can i say this. >> yes. >> i come in to take ass and take names. i don't come to just be miss prim and proper. >> let me ask you one thing before we go to the break. do you ever have -- have you ever had big stars you don't have to name them who have asked you not to sing too well so you
don't see clips them? >> no, no, they never say -- >> you're saying they do? tata come in here. >> you've had that moment. >> don't tell who. >> actually said to you calm it down. >> yeah. >> because you were eclipsing them. isn't that fascinating >> uh-huh. >> we'll bring in judith hill who went from michael jackson's backup singer to stand out star in nbc's "the voice." ♪ ♪ ♪ ben! ♪ [ train whistle blows ] oh, that was close. you ain't lying.
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working with michael really did inspire me. and seeing like wow, it's okay to dream this big, it's okay to realize your dreams ♪ i still believe >> judith hill with the king of pop michael jackson. the stars of the oscar nominated 20 feet from stardom tata vega and judith, welcome to you. it's very poignant, isn't it to see that footage of you with
michael. >> hey, jujube. >> love you. >> love. >> you when i see that footage of you and michael jackson, it's very bittersweet, isn't it, because you were going to be doing a duet with him on the tour and his death clearly robbed everybody of the chance to see that. i had tickets myself to the first night in london. tell me about working with michael. >> yes, i mean every time i see that footage, i can't believe it actually happened. it's like a dream to be on that stage with the king of pop. and man, michael just rocked my world. i mean it, from every aspect of him watching him on that stage, you know, with the lighting and the band and all of the different pieces and how he just created magic on that stage, it was like a front row seat to greatness. and i think that i left that experience really knowing what it means to be an artist and wanting to pursue that for my own. >> you must have been absolutely devastated when he died. not just because you got to know
him on a personal level, the sadness but also your own career would have exploded on that tour i guess and you never got the cannes to see if that would happen. >> well, it just -- i mean nobody would have seen that coming. it was literally like the night before i had seen michael and i said bye to him about 12:00 midnight. and the next morning, he's gone and it's just like you don't even know how to feel. it's just, i was in a state of shock forever. it's like, yeah, i mean, i'll never -- i never really know what to feel. it's a really bittersweet thing. >> you sang at his funeral which obviously was again i guess a very poignant moment for you. you've called singing backup, judith, as a spring board that can easily turn to quick sand. just generally about performing. what did you mean by that. >> i think what i meant is that background singing is such an awesome thing and you can really get into it and you learn from
so many different people. but i think for me,ly to make that hard decision to transition. i want -- i had this dream to be an artist and i've got to follow that. and sometimes that means putting it first and it might mean struggling playing in clubs, doing whatever you can as an artist, and you get these big gigs that are going to pay your bills, do all these things. but at the end of the day, i don't want to regret and say man, i wish that i had really pursued being an artist. sometimes you have to make those hard decisions and turn down background singing. >> mary, let me ask you something. when you work with all these huge stars, quite a few of them are not what i would call naturally great singers. they're not like what you would call absolutely top drawer singing voices, yet they have become legends and superstars
because they have the whole package of stardom. what is that x factor for one of the better phrases that takes you from being just a singer to being a star do you think? >> you know, piers, i'm still trying to figure that one out, honey. i mean, for so many years you work at all these great, great people and they won't do it without you, they just won't. merry, what are you doing? can you come and go to russia. to russia, do i need shots? >> is that because you're basically a brilliant security blanket to them performing on stage or in a session that you can give them a power, you know, all three of you, involved in the performance which can mask any problems they may have? >> the thing i've said before is that the ladies, we're all like preacher's kids. we came out of the church. every great singer that you know of, they're going to be involved in some kind of church setting. my father was a minister, most
of the girls in the whole situation, they come from a ministerial background. i consider myself to be spiritual, not religious. but i also know that what we bring to the table is a spirit. >> i totally agree. >> a spirit of soul that came out of the church. when you come out of that, i'm getting chills talking about it. >> i'm getting chills listening to you talk about it. >> when you come out of that, piers, it's a whole different thing than somebody just coming on saying i'm here, i'm going to sing background. no, you're not, you're going to try to sing background. but it's a whole package we bring when we go to those sessions and go on the road with different artists. >> i want to end with quick answers here. what has been the great pinch me moment of your career singing as a backing singer? >> goodness, this -- >> name one. >> being on your show, piers. >> great answer. merry, you can't do the same
answer. what's been the moment, if you can relive it right now? >> mine was the moment that i worked with ray charles in carnegie hall. >> what a moment. >> and i didn't know my part and he banged it out on the piano. >> judith, what would yours be? >> definitely singing with michael "i can't stop loving you," seeing him this close. that was the pinch me moment. >> you are the great unsung heroes of so many stars. good luck at the oscars, ladies. >> thank you so much, piers. thanks for having us. >> we'll be right back. >> singing background, it helped me find me. i got back to the love of music. ♪ no matter how busy your morning you can always do something better for yourself.
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we want you to meet some girls from harlem, new york, who are just as passionate about the sport. what these kids achieve on and off the ice is quite amazing. the woman behind the success is our first cnn hero of 2014. >> i love the crispy feeling of the air. the sound of my skate crunching on the ice. skating relieves me from everything. i just want to fly. i just don't want to stop. >> i heard that there were some girls who wanted to figure skate in harlem. growing up, i was a competitive figure skater and i knew there was not access for kids in low-income communities. they were so eager to get started, so i began teaching them and it was inspiring to me. now we serve over 200 girls a
year. the best part about skating is it gives you qualities that you use the rest of your life. they gain discipline, perseverance. >> step, cross, step, cross. excellent, girls. >> they fall down, they get back up and learn they can do that in anything. it's a building block. skating is a hook, but education comes first. before they even get on the ice, they have to get their homework done, they get tutoring a minimum of three afternoons a week. >> algebra is not my best subject, so miss sharon hired a special tutor for me. >> it was that simple. >> now i'm doing way better in school. i was like, yeah. >> ladies and gentlemen, harlem ice. >> i want girls to believe and know that they can do anything they put their hearts and minds to. >> it's not all about skating.
miss sharon is teaching us to be the best we can be in life. >> every week we'll be honoring a cnn hero. if you know someone who deserves recognition, go to cnnheroes.com and tell us all about them. that's all for us tonight. we'll see you back here on monday night at 9:00 p.m. eastern. ♪ they don't look friendly. who are those -- anyway. some ugly dutch guys it looks like with guns. i'm guessing particularly friendly to the current power. they look like they are either coming from or going from an oppressing black man. first order of business, man. when i take my country back,